Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 Review

By Jason D'Aprile - Posted Apr 23, 2009

If the words 'tactical action' mixed with 'hack and slash' appeals to you at all, check out 'Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2' for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and find out in this X-Play Review if this game, a hybrid of those two gaming genres, has what it takes to make space the most boring frontier!

The Pros
  • Lots of missions
  • Tons of things to destroy
  • Perfect for uncontrollable twitching
The Cons
  • Ugly, boring, repetitive, and the same game it's always been.

Based on the endless parade of sequels, it’s pretty clear that someone keeps buying Dynasty Warrior games. Who these people are and why they have such questionable taste is another issue entirely. Given this success, however, it was a forgone conclusion that the series would branch out from feudal Japan. The result was Dynasty Warrior Gundam, which brought the game into the anime future without even bothering to enhance the controls or fix longstanding issues. Gundam, in turn, apparently did well enough to warrant a sequel.

Sequels are Hell

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2Unsurprisingly, Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 is about as innovative and improved over its predecessor as any of the other games in the series—which is to say, “not at all”. For fans of the classic anime, there’s certainly plenty of appeal in the concept. You’ll get the chance to choose from an array of popular characters, and then fight in classic battles, and interact with major plot points. There are single player campaigns for the leads and individual story missions for a surprising number of lesser characters, in addition to some multiplayer action as well.

As expected, the expansive battlefields offer an amazing number of opponents to mindlessly dispatch. The map is generally divided into fields of battle that must be conquered, and enemies appear in drove to fight you off. Once you destroy enough of them, the rest of your team can move in to secure the area. Occasionally, the enemy will manage to take a field back, but the levels are mostly about forward momentum. You take over as many fields as possible, destroying hundreds of mechanized contraptions, while waiting for a mission plot point (like a boss battle) to occur.

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Faster, Gundam! Kill! Kill!

The goal of Dynasty Warriors games has always been to earn kill numbers and that’s the case here. Experience points are doled out at the end of a mission, and hardcore fans of the series will spend more time endlessly plowing through grunts than paying attention to the main objectives. For short sessions of stress relief, there’s a certain cathartic value here, but for most the flaws of the game far outweigh any such benefits.

Combat controls in particular are remarkably simplistic. The game is a true mindless button masher. Two attack buttons, with some combos and special movies, a jump and thrust ability, and super attack make up the gameplay, but there’s so little variety that after the first mission, you’ve seen nearly everything the game has to offer. What’s more ironic is that the gameplay actually doesn’t vary when you hit land.

My God… It’s Full of Pop-Up

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2Space is handled as a flat plain with no sense of three dimensions and the gameplay is so old school that space missions play out just like ground missions with less scenery. Admittedly, given how ugly the game is, less is more. The textures and character models seem to be pulled from the PS2, and the amount of game-jarring graphic pop-in is stunning. Even considering how many enemies are on the screen at once, there’s no excuse for such mediocre, buggy visuals.

Voices, sound effects, and music are pulled from the series, and the music is quite good. The voice work is standard, overly whiny-sounding characters, but the overuse of reactionary one-liners from AI during combat is terrible. Speaking of AI, it’s awful too. Friends and foes are mindless drones that often just stand there as you trash through squads of armed trash cans. You’ll have to baby sit AI comrades a bit too often, and at times, their behavior seems outright broken.

Space… the Boring Frontier

The saving grace of DW Gundam 2 is that for those that like the gameplay, there’s a lot of it. The game sports hours upon hours of mindless hacking and shooting in a familiar and much-loved anime universe. Unfortunately, for anyone but a rabid fan of either Gundam or Dynasty Warriors, the dull, repetitive gameplay, buggy visuals, and other glitches simply make Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 a painful chore to play.

Article Written By Jason D’Aprile